Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
In Romans 7:7 Paul notes that the law reveals sin. Earlier in Romans Paul declared that all had broken the law. Paul recognized his sin because of his inability to keep the law. Here he points out that everyone is under the same law and all are just as incapable of keeping it as he.
Jesus frequently clashed with the Pharisees during His ministry. It wasn’t because they worshipped a different God or even taught different things. The reason Jesus came into conflict with the Pharisees was because of their self righteousness.
The Pharisees mistakenly believed that they had followed the letter to the law. Through the centuries, they had constructed “buffer laws” so that they didn’t accidentally break the real law. In other words, if the law allowed a person to go ten feet, a new law was made so that a person could only go eight feet and were therefore safe from accidentally breaking the law.
Even if the Pharisees were better at keeping the law than other people – and their attitudes show through that they really weren’t – they still didn’t keep the law to perfection and thus sinned. Even if the Pharisees were holier than others, they weren’t perfect and therefore not holy enough. They needed Jesus just as much as anyone else but they refused to recognize it.